ACTRA members honoured in 2020!

Let’s all take a moment to celebrate ACTRA members’ recent achievements this year, from your performances to your personal contributions within ACTRA and our industry-at-large.

Winners of the ninth annual UBCP/ACTRA Awards!

Nine performers were honoured at the 2020 UBCP/ACTRA virtual awards on November 21 in recognition of their achievements within B.C.’s entertainment industry. The event was preceded by a star-studded virtual red-carpet and included recorded greetings by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh and B.C. Premier John Horgan. John Cassini won the Best Lead Performance – Male award for his role in Daughter while the Best Lead Performance – Female award went to Carmen Moore for her role in Rustic Oracle. Brendan Fletcher won the Best Supporting Performance – Male award for his role in Night Hunter and Jenn MacLean-Angus won the award for Best Supporting Performance – Female for her role in Daughter. Giles Panton won the Best Voice Performance award for his performance in Absolute Carnage and stunt performers Corry Glass and Adrian Hein won the Best Stunt Performance award for their performances in The Detour – The Sister. The Lorena Gale Woman of Distinction Award was presented to Catherine Lough Haggquist and the John Juliani Award of Excellence was presented to Alvin Sanders. If you missed the celebration, you can watch it by clicking on the video below.

Winners of the 2020 ACTRA Awards in Toronto

The 18th annual ACTRA Awards in Toronto were presented on February 24, 2020, at a live show and gala at The Carlu. Bryn McAuley won Outstanding Performance – Female Voice for Hotel Transylvania, Carter Hayden won Outstanding Performance – Male Voice also for his work in Hotel Transylvania. Cara Ricketts won Outstanding Performance – Female for Anne with an E and Dalmar Abuzeid won Outstanding Performance – Male also for Anne with an E. For the second consecutive year, the Members’ Choice Series Ensemble Award went to the Schitt’s Creek cast. Michaela Washburn presented ACTRA Toronto’s 2020 Award of Excellence to Kim’s Convenience’s star Jean Yoon. Matt Birman presented the ACTRA Toronto Stunt award posthumously to stunt performer Kevin Rushton.

L to R: Tyler Rushton, Carter Hayden, Jean Yoon, Cara Ricketts, Dalmar Abuzeid. Photo by @georgepimentel1

Congrats to Taylor Olson for your 2020 FIN Atlantic International Film Festival wins!

Congratulations to Halifax-based actor/writer/director Taylor Olson who took home multiple awards at the 2020 FIN Atlantic International Film Festival. Olson’s film Bone Cage won four awards (winning all categories for which it was nominated) while his other his film, Inceldom, won the Best Atlantic Short award. Based on the play of the same name by Nova Scotian playwright Catherine Banks, Bone Cage stars Olson in the role of a conflicted clear-cutter. The feature, Taylor’s first, made its East Coast debut as part of FIN Stream, the online version of the 2020 Atlantic International Film Festival. Taylor kept the production 100 per cent local, shooting around the Stewiacke, NS, area. Click here to watch the Bone Cage trailer and here for the full list of the FIN Atlantic International Film Festival Award winners.

2020 Canadian Screen Awards Winners

Cardinal won big at the 2020 Canadian Screen Awards (CSAs), picking up seven awards during the virtual ceremony this past May, including Best Drama Series. Schitt’s Creek captured six trophies, including Best Comedy Series, with ACTRA member Catherine O’Hara picking up the Best Lead Actress, Comedy Award, and Eugene Levy the Best Lead Actor, Comedy Award. Cardinal stars Billy Campbell and Karine Vanasse won Best Lead Actor, Drama Series, and Best Lead Actress, Drama Series Awards. Anne With an E picked up five honours, including the Best Guest Performance, Drama Series Award for Dalmar Abuzeid. Mark O’Brien won Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role for Goalie. In the sketch comedy and comedy categories, Baroness von Sketch Show won five awards while Kim’s Convenience and Letterkenny won two awards. Other winners include Mary Kills People, Vikings and the TV movie Believe Me: The Abduction of Lisa McVey. This year marked the first time the CSAs presented an award for Best Stunt Coordination, with Angelica Lisk-Hann and Tally Rodin winning for their work in Mary Kills People. Click here for the complete list of 2020 Canadian Screen Award nominees and winners, and here to (re)watch the virtual award presentations.

imagineNATIVE honours Lorne Cardinal

Lorne Cardinal was honoured with the August Schellenberg Award of Excellence at the 2020 imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival. The festival presents the annual award to a performer whose work celebrates the spirit and commitment its namesake, August Schellenberg, showed over the course of his career. With more than 100 film, TV and stage credits, Lorne has played everything from historical figures, like the character “Loud Noise” in the TV movie Tecumseh: The Last Warrior, to recurring roles such as Daniel Deela on North of 60 and Sergeant Davis on Corner Gas. Lorne was honoured to receive the August Schellenberg award, saying Schellenberg “left an indelible mark in my life,” and he “was lucky to call [Schellenberg] a friend and a mentor.”  The two worked together over the years on such projects as Lonesome Dove, Crazy Horse and the historical stage version of King Lear (in 2012, the all-Indigenous cast production of King Lear was performed at the National Arts Centre and Schellenberg was cast in the title role). ACTRA and AFBS are proud sponsors of the festival’s August Schellenberg Award of Excellence. This year, the ImagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival took place virtually from October 20 to 25. Visit for the full list of winners.

‍Mary Galloway wins 2020ACTRA Manitoba Award

Mary Galloway picked up the ACTRA Best Actor Award at the 20th annual Gimli Film Festival (GFF), presented virtually this past July, for her performance in Ruthless Souls. The GFF is the largest film festival in Manitoba. Click on the following links to watch Mary’s acceptance speech and the Ruthless Souls trailer, and here to view the full list of GFF nominees and winners.

ACTRA Members Tom Jackson and Dave Thomas appointed to Order of Canada

Iconic actor, musician, activist, philanthropist and trailblazer when it comes to Indigenous on-screen representation, ACTRA member Tom Jackson is being promoted to the highest level within the Order of Canada. Previously appointed as an Officer in 2000, Jackson will receive the highest honour – Companion – within the Order of Canada. One of Tom’s notable charitable works was his creation of the annual Huron Carole Christmas concert series, which for the last 30 years has travelled across the country and raised millions of dollars and supplies for Canadian food banks (the seasonal music tradition will go ahead this year as well but will take place virtually). Comedy legend actor, writer and producer and ACTRA member Dave Thomas has been selected as a Member to the Order of Canada this year. Dave co-created the famous Canadian comedy duo Bob and Doug with fellow Canadian Rick Moranis and was among the lead members of the legendary sketch series SCTV. Created in 1967, the Order of Canada is one of the country’s highest honours presented by the Governor General to citizens whose work in a wide-array of industries have shaped and impacted Canadian society. The 2020 recipients will be presented with their insignia at a ceremony to be held at a later date.

Ruth Lawrence named 2020 Leslie Yeo Award for Volunteerism recipient

ACTRA member Ruth Lawrence was honoured with the 2020 Leslie Yeo Award in recognition of her dedication and passion for community. Ruth is known for advancing the arts through mentorship and for her extensive volunteer work in support of the cultural community, including many initiatives advocating for performers and women. Ruth has served as an ACTRA Newfoundland/Labrador Councillor, an ACTRA National Councillor and as ACTRA National Treasurer. Each year, AFBS recognizes a member’s extraordinary community spirit by honouring them with the Leslie Yeo Award for Volunteerism. Visit the AFBS website to learn more about this award.

Alberta’s 2020 Rosie Award Winner

Presented by the Alberta Media Production Industries Association, the annual Rosie Awards celebrate excellence and outstanding achievement in Alberta film, TV and new media. Jann Arden won the award for Best Performance by an Alberta Actress for her title role in Jann. The Alberta Film and Television Awards ceremony took place virtually on October 8, 2020.The awards ceremony can be viewed here and the full list of winners here.

2020 Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards Laureates

In February, the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards Foundation announced the recipients of Canada’s highest honour in the performing arts. The laureates of the 2020 Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards for Lifetime Artistic Achievement, which recognize artists who have made an indelible contribution to cultural life in Canada and around the world, include ACTRA members Tantoo Cardinal, C.M. (film, television and stage actor and activist) and Catherine O’Hara, O.C. (actor and writer).  ACTRA Member Ryan Reynolds (actor, producer, screenwriter, entrepreneur and activist) is being honoured with the National Arts Centre Award, which recognizes the work of an extraordinary nature by an individual artist or company in the past performance year. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the award presentations to the laureates announced in 2020 have been postponed to June 5, 2021.

Schitt’s Creek sweeps the 2020 Emmys with nine wins!

Schitt’s Creek broke a record at the 2020 Emmy Awards, winning every award in the comedy categories for which it was nominated. Our talented ACTRA members swept the performance categories: Eugene Levy won Best Actor, Catherine O’Hara took home the Best Actress prize while Annie Murphy won Best Supporting Actress and Dan Levy took home the Best Supporting Actor award. Winning nine awards makes Schitt’s Creek the first comedy series — in the Emmys’ 72-year history — to do so. Congratulations to the cast and crew for making history. Click here for the full list of Emmy winners.

Eugene Levy and Daniel Levy accept the Emmy Award for outstanding comedy series Schitt’s Creek. (Invision/Television Academy)

2020 ACTRA Maritimes Award Winners

Screen Nova Scotia hosted its sixth annual awards gala virtually on December 4. Vinessa Antoine won the ACTRA Maritimes Award for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Lead or Featured Female Role for playing lawyer Marcie Diggs in the CBC series Diggstown. Antoine made history in 2019 as the first Black Canadian woman to helm a prime-time drama in Canada. Gay Hauser also won for her role in Diggstown, taking home the ACTRA Maritimes Award for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Female Role. Cory Bowles won the ACTRA Maritimes Award for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Male Role for his performance in the series Pure (WGN America) as Detective Jay Gates. Allister MacDonald won the ACTRA Maritimes Award for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Lead or Featured Male Role for his performance as drag queen Joan of Arkansas in Thom Fitzgerald’s feature film Stage Mother. Click here to watch the award show video clips available on Screen Nova Scotia’s Vimeo page.


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